7 TIPS YOU NEED TO START EATING CLEAN
Most of the time, when women approach me to help them lose weight or get snatched, healthy eating tends to be the focus of our conversation and I totally get it.
If you go to the supermarket and are thoroughly confused about what foods are "healthy" you are not alone girlfriend.
ACCORDING TO A NIELSEN SURVEY, NEARLY 59% OF CONSUMERS HAVE A HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING NUTRITION LABELS.
It's very confusing...and let me keep it hella real with ya'll: supermarkets are in the business of making & keeping us unhealthy and overweight.
They want to keep us confused.
They're not interested in taking care of our health because our dependence on package food makes them rich.
Instead of letting the supermarket marketers get to our heads ( & our pockets) I want you to focus on Eating clean.
Eating clean has gotten a bad rap these days so let's just start off and state what it actually is: eating clean is a strategy to help people transition from eating highly processed food to eating real food.
That's really it.
It doesn’t mean eating perfectly.
It doesn't mean your food needs to look perfect or "clean"
All it means is that you're working towards creating a healthy relationship between you and the real, nutritious & delicious food you buy.
Diets don't work in the long term.
A diet is something you have to get ON which means eventually you'll have to get off.
Eating clean is a lifestyle choice, a compilation of healthier habits.
Eating clean means = eating less processed foods.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, here are my 7 tips you need to get you started:
#1 Shop The Perimeter of the Supermarket
The landscape of supermarkets are filled with marketing hype and compelling health claims but one place that isn't is the perimeter.
If the goal is to eat more real, nutritious, green, natural, whole foods, shopping the perimeter of the supermarket is going to help you do that.
The reason you want to avoid spending a lot of time in those middle aisles is that's where most of the junk and processed food lives.
I encourage you to spend the majority of your time in the produce section and choose a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables.
#2 Read The Label
When you're reading a nutrition label you want to focus on a few things.
- Sugar: It's 8x more addictive than cocaine! Aim to have 10g per serving or less. Sugar is also disguised as 56 other different names on packages. Corporations use these code words so that you don't realize what you're eating. Here are some other words used in place of sugar: sucrose, dextrose, glucose, fructose, lactose & cane sugar...etc.
- Artificial preservatives + dyes: According to LiveStrong.com preservatives are chemicals used to keep food fresh. Although there are a number of different types of food preservatives, antimicrobials, antioxidants, and products that slow the natural ripening process are some of the most common. Despite their important function, preservatives can pose a number of serious health risks.
- Fiber: This is hella important for your digestive health! Dietary fiber, that's found particularly in vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains helps keep bowel movements regular.
- Carbs + Fats+ Protein: Macronutrients your body needs to function.
Ingredients are usually listed in order of weight, or quantity on nutrition labels.
So, if the first ingredient you see on a label is sugar, it means that your snack is made up of more of that than anything else.
BE A NUTRITION LABEL DETECTIVE
When you go to the supermarket this week make sure you flip everything around and start reading the label. Look at what it says for sugar. If it has 40 - 50g of sugar per serving stay away.
If you have to choose between Cereal vs an apple I recommend that you have the natural sugar instead of the processed.
#3 Swap Do Not Eliminate
Often, when we begin a healthier lifestyle we make the mistake of taking on the mindset of doing a complete kitchen overhaul.
By kitchen overhaul, I mean - we go completely cold turkey on the food we have and go straight to "eating healthy."
Unfortunately, this method backfires often because eating clean is a systematic process that we need to take on slowly.
If you eliminate and give up cookies cold turkey the chances of you craving those cookies and binging on them, later on, is incredibly high.
Instead, think of ways you can incorporate more whole foods throughout the week and change things in a way that will be more sustainable in the long term.
#4 Eat Better, Not Less
It's easy to work out for an hour, but to control what goes onto your plate (and into your mouth) for the next 23 is the true test of strength.
The way you choose to eat is not supposed to feel like is not a straight jacket.
Eating Clean doesn’t require drastic change & it’s easy to maintain if you start doing it incrementally.
IT'S ALL ABOUT MODERATION.
If you don't enjoy what you're eating every day you will not be able to stick to it in the long term.
I promise you that It won’t kill you or take you off your weight loss plan to occasionally have ice cream, pizza or pancakes with syrup.
Once you’ve been practicing the discipline of meal prepping, food shopping and making healthier choices you can treat yourself to the things you can’t live without all the guilt that's typically associated with them.
#5 Recycle Ingredients
Healthy eating doesn’t have to break the bank.
When you plan and prepare in advance you can reduce the price.
Here are a few examples:
- Last week I made breakfast muffins that called to have chives in the recipe.
- I had leftover chives that I didn't know what to do with
- With the extra ingredients, I used to add flavor to a veggie stir-fry.
- At the start of this week, I made a black bean chili
- Since I had leftover beans I used the extra to make burrito bowls
Catch my drift?
You can use the same staple but cook it differently or add it to different recipes so that you don't get sick of it as well as save yourself some coins.
Some of my favorite staple ingredients that I like to keep in the rotation are Black Beans, Regular/Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, and Lentils.
#6 Split Up Your Shopping
I do this solely because it's cost-efficient.
I go to Whole Foods for the wild caught fish, almond butter, and or other vegan/vegetarian pastries or foods that I typically can’t find in other supermarkets.
I do to Trader Joe’s for the mostly everything else because it's affordable.
I go to the bodega to get platanos and other cultural foods I can't get at the other bigger supermarkets.
For your healthy food shopping, you're going to need to do your research on this one.
For example, produce is typically cheaper at a farmers market or Trader Joe's vs. Whole check… I mean Foods. :)
#7 Sazón: Seasoning for flavor & cooking
When we think that eating healthy tastes bad it's usually because we have not yet learned that food can be healthy and be flavorful at the same time.
Natural sazón molido — Buy it or make it fresh when possible for the best taste.
You can Click here to grab the recipe from my Ultimate Guide to Clean Eating E-book.
These are some of my staple spices/herbs I like to have on deck to make my food taste yummy — oregano, fresh cilantro, black pepper, garlic cloves, cumin, cayenne pepper, ginger, parsley, red pepper flakes, coriander, ground cinnamon, pure vanilla extract